Today in Point/Counterpoint, UFC president Dana White joins us to explain the iron grip the UFC holds over all of its fighters, while he is countered by UFC president Dana White, who argues that as an organization hiring independent contractors, there’s simply nothing they can do to change their behavior inside or outside of the cage.
Point: The UFC owns you, do you understand me? You are our product and our property and you’d best remember that.
Dana White, UFC President: Listen here, fuckos, do you realize who we are? We’re the UF-fucking-C, and we are the only game in town. What are you going to do, go fight for two-and-two in a school gym in Indiana? “Oh, we don’t like the new Venum kits, they don’t pay us very much money.” Tough shit. Do you think you could do better without us? Why? Just because there was more than a decade of history of fighters doing just that before we signed these exclusive deals with no fighter input? Do you even want to be a fighter?
“Ohhh, I don’t want to share my exact location at every second of the day while exposing myself to potentially years of inability to make any money at my primary profession if I forget to do so. I’m too much of a pussy.” Grow up. This is the fucking fight game. If you want rights, go join the military. Nobody is forcing you to be a part of the UFC. If you don’t want to fight for what we want to pay, don’t fight. Retire. I don’t care. What’s that? You’ve been retired for seven years and now somebody wants to pay you two million dollars to beat up a retired basketball player in a boxing ring? Fuck you, you’re under contract.
Counterpoint: These are independent contractors, and we are powerless to influence them in any way.
Dana White, UFC President: Well, gee, folks, did you hear the latest news about ol’ Jon Jones and his shenanigans? Fighters, am I right? It’s like herding cats, I tell you. I wish there was literally anything at all we could do to address the issues that seem to plague our fighters, from domestic abuse to drunk and disorderly conduct to dangerous and scary weight cuts, but they are independent contractors. Our hands are tied.
Sure, we wish there was some way we could get a rein on our fighters going on racist diatribes on social media or hurling slurs at their opponents, but what do you expect from us? It’s not like we’re their employer. We just hire these animals part-time. What would you have us do? Institute some sort of fighter conduct policy which discourages negative and harmful behavior through actual repercussions, applied evenly regardless of the relative status and marketability of the fighter? Well, I want a unicorn. You can’t always get what you want, though.
So, there you have it, the experts have weighed in. Who do you agree with? Is the UFC a limitless power unable to be stopped, or a helpless observer left vulnerable to the esoteric whims of the average mixed martial artist?